Creating a vibrant signing community

This project aimed to strengthen the Deaf Club as a learning space for NZ Sign Language students, Deaf youth/Rangitahi/children and whānau. We worked with appropriate groups to introduce their members to the club, increase their confidence in a Deaf space and enhance their language skills.

The project introduced many NZSL students and families with Deaf children to the Deaf Club and helped reduce some of the barriers hearing students and parents face for that first visit. The events showed 18% of participants were the projects target audience, showing a big increase. Events since the project finished continue to show great attendance from our targeted groups.

Families enjoying activities

Through this project we have been able to introduce Deaf tamariki/rangitahi and their whānau to Deaf Club to encourage their exposure to Deaf culture and NZSL and increase their confidence to take part in our events and activities.  NZSL students are now regularly attending Deaf club events increasing their NZSL skills and widening the Deaf community. 

DSC has strengthened its relationship with Canterbury Parents of Deaf Children (CPODC) and the NZSLTASB and DSC has increased its membership from their member families and students.

Children enjoying activities Children enjoying Deaf Club activities

The Secretary from Canterbury Parents of Deaf Children, Karen Dobson said:

“Deaf Society attended our Annual weekend camp of families with Deaf children from 0 – 21 years old.  This is held annually each year in February.  Traditionally the committee organises a family quiz but we were keen to work with Deaf Society to offer a more family and Deaf friendly Saturday evening activity.  It was a challenging request with approximately 80 children and adults of all ages both Deaf and hearing playing activities at the same time.  The games worked really well for all ages and were very Deaf friendly.  Deaf or signing volunteers worked with DSC staff to lead each game.  Our member families loved the activities.  We appreciate the support of DSC at our camp and the funder for enabling this activity to happen.  We fully support our families to get involved in the Deaf Club activities for the benefit of their Deaf children.”

Families enjoying activities